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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

06/07/2022 | 10:11am EDT
FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises after a military strike on a compound of Sievierodonetsk's Azot Chemical Plant

(Reuters) - Ukraine will fight to recover all its territory occupied by Russian forces, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, as his troops battled street-to-street in Sievierodonetsk in one of the bloodiest land battles of the war.

FIGHTING

* Ukrainian defenders are doing everything possible to hold their position in the frontline eastern city of Sievierodonetsk even as Russia sends more troops to the area, mayor Oleksandr Stryuk told Ukrainian television.

* Another local official, Roman Vlasenko, said Ukrainian forces were in control of the city's industrial zone and the Azot chemical plant. Reuters could not independently verify his statement.

* Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Ukrainian television there was constant shelling along the front line, with Russia attempting to push towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the two biggest Ukrainian-held cities in Donetsk.

* Britain's defence ministry said on Twitter that Russia's broader plan likely continues to be to cut off the Sievierodonetsk area from both the north and the south.

* Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk, seized by Russian forces, had been de-mined and were ready to resume grain shipments. He said 6,489 Ukrainian military personnel had so far surrendered.

DIPLOMACY

* Zelenskiy must not be pressured by world powers into accepting a bad peace deal with Russia, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his ministers.

* Russia imposed sanctions on 61 U.S. officials including U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, in retaliation for "constantly expanding U.S. sanctions", the foreign ministry said.

ECONOMY

* Ukraine could export a maximum of only 2 million tonnes of grains a month if Russia refuses to lift its blockade of the country's Black Sea ports, said Taras Vysotskyi, Ukraine's first deputy minister of Agrarian Policy and Food.

* Turkey is coordinating closely with Russia and Ukraine to agree a plan that would re-start grain exports from Ukrainian ports, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said.

QUOTES

"We have already lost too many people to simply cede our territory," Zelenskiy said by video link at an event hosted by Britain's Financial Times newspaper.

"I do not even know where to start. I am standing here looking but I have no idea what to do. I start crying, I calm down, then I cry again," said Nadezhda, a resident of Druzhkivka in the Ukrainian-held pocket of Donetsk province, surveying the ruins of her shelled home.

(Compiled by Gareth Jones)


© Reuters 2022
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